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My Wall Crammed with Food Culture Articles, Book Updates, Albums of my Culinary experiments in my mom’s humble kitchen, where Supple-Soft-Heart warming Idlis hang out with Cheesy, Zesty Olivy Pastas, Clouds gazing, Great gigs in the Sky 🙂

Life in First Gear, At times, Static or in Slow-motion



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Google Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Alam Ara : First Indian Movie with Sound….two  months ago, Google celebrated Makar Sankranthi

Kurkure from Frito Lay,  {pic :  Pack for the brand’s ‘Spend Time with Family’ campaign in 2010},one of India’s most loved snack brands, since its launch, has been engaging Indian Families with its highly addictive Full-bodied Spicy hit from fiery Indian spices/masalas trapped in the imperfectly shaped Collettes made of humble kitchen ingredients like Rice, Corn, Dals. Kurkure, as a quintessential Family brand, has long been, demonstrating a thought provoking contemporary point of view on Family (the fundamental unit of Indian society) and diverse interactions within.

In 2009-10, Kurkure needed to step up its growth, ahead of competition (especially resurgent Namkeens-Traditional snacks in India) by driving ‘In-Home consumption’ and building back ‘Advantage and Bonding’. Kurkure also had to give consumers a far more persuasive emotional reason to choose the brand over a multitude of ‘me-toos’. As the never-tiring Family Time champion & Entertainer, the brand, once again, caught hold of the truth about today’s times in India – The Striver mindset is not resting ; Indians have little respect for personal time ; Most individuals are chasing big dreams and spending less and less time with each other. It is increasingly getting harder for most Indians to detach from work. Most, knowingly, DE-PRIORITIZE THEIR FAMILY TIME. And most are living with this guilt of not being able to spend time with their family. Kids are not lagging behind either. They too are busy with their studies, spending time on Computers, Video games, TV or Mobile phones.

Kurkure drew this foresight and championed the movement (in 2010) to ‘bring back the Family Time’ as the top most priority. It made a serious attempt to sensitize everyone about the Family Time {something precious, something people feel guilty about for not being able to do justice to this bit adequately},  which increasingly is being hijacked by various other responsibilities/technology etc. Kurkure engaged Indian Families with the cause ‘Spend Time with Family’, invited families to come up with ‘Tedha Fun idea to spend time with Family’ ….and created a rewarding experience (A daily prize of Family trip to Disneyland Hongkok—to many other daily prizes—and the big prize of a House worth Rs 1 Crore) 

….we heard, (click the link)Cadbury, very recently in 2011, launched similar campaign ‘The Cadbury Catch Up’ in Australia….which is all about – turning off the TV, iPhone, e-mail and twitter and rediscovering the simple pleasure of catching up with someone in person and in the same room”

Kurkure continued to purse ‘Spend Time with Family’ aggressively, post-a massive response to its first thematic burst in 2010….launched ‘Kurkure 20% Extra Large Bag’ as an extension (in 2011) to its Family Time centric campaign  


lets trace back Kurkure’s journey……..Kurkure was born in India, grew up with India DNA, flaunted Indian attitude, and has been entertaining  everyone with an endearing Indian spirit….this Blockbusterish brand, now, rapidly is spreading its vibrant influence to as far as West Asia.  Just to quote Mr Gautam Mukkavalli, CEO-India Foods & President-India region for PepsiCo.  (2010), ‘There has been interest in the Pepsi eco-system for local variants of Kurkure from South Africa to the United Kingdom’

Kurkure, a disruptive innovation, a game changer in Salty Snacks category, was launched in 1999. Inspired from Namkeens, Kurkure tasted Indian, something like Namkeens but looked contemporary and distinct…armed with its unique product proposition ‘Familiar taste in an Innovative format’, then, the brand broke the category codes and transformed the landscape of Snacking in India, both sensorially and visually! Over the years, Kurkure has gone through various stages in its evolution.

1999 to 2001 : Launched as a sub-brand under the umbrella of Lehar (which was positioned at that time as an irresistible snack), Lehar Kurkure with its strangely addictive intense chatpata taste in an innovative format was an instant success and witnessed sharp volume growth.

2001 to 2003 : Kurkure stepped out of the shadows of Lehar, to be a brand on its own. During this phase, the brand started building Share of business and Consumption context for self through hitting at Namkeens and familiar contexts (Moments of Family togetherness) when Namkeens usually are eaten over a cup of tea….and this’s the time when the brand,actually, acquired a contemporary POV on the family dynamics in India. With its strangely addictive intense chatapata taste, the brand assumed the role of  a catalyst, which loosened stiff, formal relationship hierarchies in Indian families and let in masti-filled weather!

The brand’s initial years were spent on building product/brand relevance within the conventional snacking habits. The brand never behaved like a rebel, but redefined both conventional snacking formats & conventional way of living that people had happily settled down with.  

2004 : With other players started trickling in, sensing the opportunity, Kurkure had to reassert its uniqueness and elevate self above the ever growing mass of Me-toos. Did a re-jig of the product (extra spicy) and linked the product’s Transformational experience to the ‘twist’ in any regular and staid situation. Juhi Chawla, a popular Bollywood star, embodied the brand’s core values ‘Infectious, Irrepressible Spontaneity’, thus brought in that much desired scale…as a JESTER brand, Kurkure provided its humorous point of view – Is Kahani mein Kurkure hona chaahiye, on Indian Popular culture – topical issues, popular TV soaps….the brand spoofed ‘Jassi Jaise Koi Nahin’ , ‘Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’, ‘Anarkali’ …in its communication) 

2005 to 2007 : After having appropriated the sub-category benefit ‘Masti’, Kurkure went on to gather ‘Regularized Consumption Context’ and up ‘Portfolio Play’. To further ‘regular/habituate consumption’, Kurkure strategically targeted the ‘EVENING TEA TIME’ as the consumption occasion, then the largest occasion for snacking (macro snacks – Biscuits and Namkeens) and targeted the Homemaker  who desired  ‘Evening Tea’ the moment of changing gears, relaxation to be a joyful collective huddle of the entire family, when the reality was every member relaxed doing his/her own thing….Kurkure stepped in as the catalyst who brings individual islands in the same living room, together, which was creatively rendered as ‘Chaitime Masti Bole To Kurkure!’   

‘The Kurkure Family’ was a powerful platform to plug-in the brand firmly into ‘Family ‘Teatime Moments’ as well as the brand’s Innovation roadmap. To grow share at tea-time, Kurkure launched two sub-brands targeting functional need state gaps…’Kurkure Solid Masti’, as new age substantial indulgent snack option for that ‘evening peckishness’ &  ‘Kurkure Masti Squares’, as an aid to the homemaker who desires to create versatile snacks for her family during Teatime.  Both sub-brands, however, did not find much traction with the consumers …Kurkure kept raising its standards in terms of Variants/Flavors/Formats/Occasion and communication to deter ‘me-toos’ posing a serious threat…kept experimenting for the lure of a surprise within the comforts of the familiar, with disruptive consumer engagements‘Kurkure Mast Family Jackpot’ , ‘Kurkure Jupp for the Cup’ (during the ICC World Cup’07) and ‘Kurkure Chai Time Achievers’ , the first of its kind large scale consumer engagement programme promotion – families were invited to share interesting, ingenious Chaitime recipes using Kurkure.  The winning recipe made out of Kurkure was the ‘Family’s passport to Fame’. The winning families (Nuclear families, Joint families, Group of Friends as Family, Families from all regions of India) grabbed the opportunity of being famous and had their photograph featured on one million Kurkure packs.   

‘Kurkure Chaitime Achievers’ (Family Face on the Pack communication) was not just engagement, but consumer generated participation, another first from ever surprising Kurkure.  This was the first ever  Consumer generated participation in the history of Advertising in India – 100,000 responses in  in just 6 weeks, and Sales growth of 19% over previous year…

2007 to 2008 : In its journey to drive habit and further share of Tea-time, Kurkure started facing a host of challenges, primarily due to aggressive competitive environment …Innovative, nimble-footed, whacky challenger Bingo sprung up on the horizon, who threatened the innovator status of Kurkure, through seducing Youth with its new age bridge snacking product ‘Mad Angles’ and  disruptive & edgy communication. Kurkure launched ‘X-treme’ limited edition of flavours to dial up the brand’s innovator status &  connect with the Youth, which in turn reinforced its credentials of ‘always doing the Unexpected’.    

While being at this, the brand also repositioned itself as the ‘Rangeela Indian snack that celebrates Everyday Imperfections’…which, essentially, was a beautiful blend of  its intrinsic product truth (A Colorful,Imperfectly shaped Unconventional collette) with the foresight rooted in Confident Indians who are no longer striving to be perfect in everything, but are comfortable about their imperfections and quirks, almost like making a statement ‘I am like this only. I do not want to be Perfect, I just want to be me’  ….The brand’s repositioning stance ‘Tedha Hai Mera Hai’ brought in that much required edginess to the iconic brand Kurkure.

With ‘Tedha Hai Par Mera Hai’, Kurkure reclaimed its rightful place in Consumers’ minds as the most vibrant and exciting snack in the market…while ‘Tedha Hai Par Mera Hai’ began to seep into common parlance, regular day to day conversations, and mainstream (media)…people were heard (on TV) fondly calling their home cities   ‘Tedha hai par…’, “we still love our city despite its imperfections’…terming their friends ‘woh Tedha hai par…’

2009 : Kurkure dialled up its Youth quotient and innovator credentials by launching a sub-brand ‘Kurkure Desi Beats’ , targeted specifically at the Youth. And dialled up Regional relevance by associating with regional festivals (Special Pujo in the East), which later got extended to Ganesh Chathurthi Festival special in the West….and c0ntinued to firm up Connect with Indian families through making its ‘Tedha Hai Par Mera Hai’ philosophy more relevant…again, grabbed a  fresh wind of change that’s gripping Indian families (More and more families/individuals are open to the idea of marrying outside their  caste, state,  region, community or religion : could be a niche phenomenon, but has the potential to be a big wave. This was creatively captured as ‘Mixed Families’) and also struck empathy with regions better with locally relevant flavours (East,West and South)…


Kurkure has always been known for its ability to surprise and delight consumers with innovative and great tasting offerings….be it ‘Flavour Innovation’ {different flavours that are made with authentic ingredients used in the Indian kitchen, like Kurkure Masala Munch, Kurkure Naughty Tomatoes, Kurkure Green Chutney Rajasthani Style, Kurkure Chilli Chataka, Kurkure Hyderabadi Hungama}, or ‘Product Innovation’ (a more substantial snacking prototype like Solid Masti, Desi Beats made of  Wheat,

Corn in the recent times )…in 2010, Kurkure embarked upon  ‘Ingredient-centric’ strategy to advantage the brand vis-a-vis competition. Launched ‘Funjabi Kadai Masala’, a new variant of Kurkure made of Rajma (not only has the taste of Rajma, but actually contains Rajma), inspired by the food culture and the  “dildaar fun spirit” of Punjab ….. Rajma, a familiar & regularly used bean in North Indian food culture/cuisine, and enjoys an instant connect with Rajma Chawal, a highly popular & unassumingly simple dish with a great sense of bonding/comfort and strong emotional attachment – say, Punjabi Sunday Special, ‘maa ke haath ka bana hua Rajma Chawal’…in Kurkure Rajma communication, the brand kept kept the product/ingredient at its core (to elevate the brand’s Ingredients-centric innovation) and built behavioral/cultural nuances around it like the exuberant, zesty Punjabi Culture 

 {Advertising agency : JWT Delhi}

{Pic : Anna karina & Jean-Paul Belmondo}

Some say love’s a little boy,
And some say it’s a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that’s absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn’t do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It’s quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its  singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn’t over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air.
I don’t know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

{Teaser 1}

{Teaser 2}

{Teaser 3}

Immediately after its hugely successful Consumer Engagement programme ‘Lay’s Give Us Your Dillicious Flavor’ woven around Co-Creating the flavour that consumers would love to have on Lay’s chips, Lay’s launched yet another unique programme ‘Lay’s Flavor World Cup’ to engage consumers in the  forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 season, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Lay’s brought Global/International Flavors from Cricket playing countries, which, along with Lay’s New India’s Magic Masala will compete for ‘Lay’s Flavour World Cup’ – Australia’s Herb ‘n’ Lime Twist, South Africa’s Peri Peri Chilli, Sri Lanka’s Sweet Onion Sauce, England’s Grilled Cheese, West Indies’ Hot & Sweet Chilli and New India’s Magic Masala.


JWT Delhi conceptualised ‘Lay’s Flavour World Cup’ campaign…Three Teasers {which had Team India’s captain Dhoni keeping Saif -our darling  🙂 intrigued, by rooting for other countries – though he meant Cricket flavours} led the  Thematic….How different would Lay’s Flavor World Cup be from the hi-decibel action-packed Real ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 ,when infectious passion and patriotic fervor for TEAM INDIA overwhelms everyone ? 

In Lay’s Flavor World Cup, you can , Taste all Six World Cup flavours from Lay’s and make your favourite flavour win Lay’s Flavour World Cup…Flirt with your favourite flavours that captivated your senses, lose yourself in some, and Go for that one flavour that you heart beats for! 

watch this space folks!


 “African Tulip

Crash landed Softly

One more Autumn Death” 

It’s time to Terminate the whole process of ‘Upload’, ‘Search’, ‘Beam in the Featured’, ‘Ignore Poor Blithers who visibly struggle’, ‘Mull over the Chosen, Much Sought after Crazy Intellectuals with zero or negligible Emotional quotient’, ‘Brace self with beautifully strung, or Well thought out strings of expression’, ‘Engage in Weird Verbal duals’, ‘Hush those notes predicting yet another imminent Break in Momentum’, ‘Clouds of Bitterness, Bristling Interference’, ‘Spells of Silence across the Coffee Table’, ‘Exposing Self to Erratic Rollercoaster rides’…..walk away from chaotic world of affairs, get into the worn out shoes and explore runs of Solitude

{link :}

As I sit here and slowly close my eyes
I take another deep breath and feel the wind pass through my body
I’m the one in your soul, reflecting inner light
Protect the ones who hold you, cradeling your inner child

I need serenity in a place where I can hide
I need serenity, nothing changes days go by

Where do we go when we just don’t know
And how do we re-light the flame when it’s cold
Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing
And when will we learn to control

Tragic visions slowly stole my life
Tore away everything, cheating me out of my time
I’m the one who loves you no matter wrong or right
And everyday I hold you
I hold you with my inner child

I need serenity in a place where I can hide
I need serenity, nothing changes days go by
Where do we go when we just don’t know
And how do we re-light the flame when it’s cold
Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing
And when will we learn to control


{Pic : from Him}

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the famer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

…an evocative poem that gives us a brief overview of the storm, its influence on people, and gets into personification of the storm, a mason who spends his night constructing structures of Snow.

These magnificient Classic Dances captured the essence of the 5 seasons …

Spring {Odissi}, Summer {Bharatnatyam}, Monsoon {Kathak}, Autumn {Manipuri & Mohiniyattam} and Winter {Kuchipudi}


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